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New Zealand Diploma in Engineering

New Zealand Diploma in Engineering

Level 6

Make the most of your problem solving skills, knack for numbers and attention to detail with UCOL’s New Zealand Diploma in Engineering, and pursue a career as a qualified engineering technician in a wide range of high-tech industries.

An image of the Electrical Engineering class where students are carefully listing to the lecturer in front of a table with wires, tools and drawing on it
Quick info

Level: 6

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North

Duration: 2 years, full-time or part-time study options available

21 Feb 2022 - 02 Dec 2022

Domestic Fees: *
Eligible for fees-free until 31 Dec 2022Scholarship info

International Fees:*

Additional Fees
Compulsory course costs may apply.

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

UCOL’s New Zealand Diploma in Engineering will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to become a qualified Engineering Technician. You will study the principles and practices for the design and development of electronics used in computer engineering, telecommunications and the power supply industries.

This 2-year programme is an excellent foundation for further study, provides you with the skills employees are looking for, and gives you the option to kick-start your career as an engineering technician. 


Don’t miss your chance to study fees-free under TTAF – this free funding closes at the end of 2022!

This programme is eligible for fees-free study under the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF).

You don’t need to apply to access the Fund - just enrol in an eligible 2022 programme, and the Fund will take care of a full year of your programme’s fees, covering up to 31 December 2022.

Get enrolled now! Please contact the info centre for more details. 

Highly sought by employers, an engineering technician deals with engineering problems and activities that require knowledge and use of analytical techniques and procedures. To get started in this career, you must gain certification as an Engineering Technician with the Institute of Professional Engineers, New Zealand (IPENZ).  You can also gain this certification if you live in other areas of the world that are part of the Dublin Accord.   The Dublin Accord is an agreement for the international recognition of Engineering Technician qualifications and currently offered in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Korea, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States.

By attaining UCOL's New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Level 6) you are eligible to apply for certification as an Engineering Technologist. This specialist Diploma is accredited by NZQA and the Dublin Accord. So, you can be both nationally and internationally recognised to begin your career. 

Gaining this qualification opens up fantastic job opportunities for you both in New Zealand and overseas in the electrical and power industries.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Education pathway

This qualification provides a pathway to further tertiary study at bachelor level in the field of Engineering or Engineering Technology.

Career pathway

  • Engineering technician
  • Production manager
  • Workshop supervisor
  • Product design and developer
  • Business owner
  • Electrical & electronic designer
  • Industrial automation & control
  • Power system designer

To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Engineering Technicians.

 Course Information

This programmecomprises 240 credits.

Engineering Fundamentals (15 Credits)
Learn thefundamentals of a range of engineering disciplines, including:

  • SI units
  • Units conversion
  • Scalars
  • Vectors
  • Force:components of a force; analysis of concurrent force systems; moment of a force, conditions of static equilibrium; beam support reactions; first moment of area; centroid; centre of gravity; velocity; acceleration; linear motion; Newton’s laws of motion; friction on level surfaces; work and power; potential- and kinetic energy; andconservation of energy
  • Tensile-, compressive- and shear stress and strain; tensile test, elastic modulus
  • Fluid properties: density; specific gravity; specific weight; viscosity; pressure; head; gauge pressure; absolute pressure; and manometers
  • Electron flow; voltage; current; resistance; batteries; generators; Ohm’s Law; use of multimeter; and AC and DC applied to resistive circuits
  • Overview of the power distribution system, MEN system, protection and safety
  • Radiant, conductive and convective heat energy; thermal mass and thermal conductivity; latent heat of vaporization and freezing; simple temperature sensors; and sources of errors in measurement.

Engineering Mathematics 1 (15 Credits)
Develop mathematical skills, concepts and understanding in order to perform calculations and solve problems within engineering contexts.

Technical Literacy (15 Credits)
Develop technical research skills along with oral, written, graphical and interpersonal communication skills. The course includes:

  • Technical and business communication
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Computer application tools, e.g. word-processing, spreadsheets, presentation graphics
  • Pictorial sketching and basic engineering drawing techniques; orthographic projection; dimensioning principles; principles of drawing; office practice;and drawing management.

Electrical Principles (15 Credits)
Learn aboutgeneral electrical and power circuit theory principles and skills required for subsequent courses.

  • Fundamental principles of DC circuit theory under steady state and time varying conditions. (Ohms law, Kirchhoff's laws, resistors in series, parallel and series-parallel and voltage dividers)
  • Basic electromagnetism, magnetic circuit’s induction and inductance. Faraday’s and Lenz’s laws
  • Fundamental principles of AC circuit theory under steady state and time varying conditions
  • Capacitor construction, including current and voltage transients in RC circuits
  • Inductive transients – self-induction andmutual induction
  • Series and parallel resonant circuits
  • Basic star and delta connected circuits.
  • Basic calculations on balanced loads for three wire star load and four wire star configuration with neutral impedance.

Electrical and Electronic Applications (15 Credits)
Apply theoretical knowledge and understanding of general fundamental electronic principles. The course covers:

  • Circuit diagrams, block, control, schematics, and electronic simulation. Lighting and power OR PCB layout
  • Integrated circuit electronic linear and switching supplies
  • Safe working practices
  • Classes of electrical registration and limitations
  • Basic analogue, digital circuits or electrical/electronic installations
  • Mini-electronic electronic or electrical project, component selection, assembly and testing, including safety testing.

Power Engineering (15 Credits)
Learn aboutthree phase circuit theory as applied to power engineering and ELV earthing and protection systems.

PLC Programming 1 (15 Credits)
Learn about programming PLCs to solve simple industrial problems.

Electronic Principles (15 Credits)
Learn about general electronics and the basic building blocks of electronics as required for subsequent courses. The course covers:

  • Thevenin’s theorem, superposition theorem and maximum power transfer theorem
  • Combinational logic circuits, sequential logic, registers, counters and encoders
  • Diodes, rectification and smoothing; simple Zener and three-terminal regulated power supplies; and switching power supplies.
  • Linear and switching operation of BJT and MOSFET devices
  • Operational amplifier theory and applications
  • Electronic meters, oscilloscope, function generators and component testers.

Electrical Machines (15 Credits)
Learn about single and three phase electrical machines.

Introduction to Networks (15 Credits)
Learn aboutthe architecture, structure, functions, components, and models of the Internet and other computer networks and to enable youto build simple LAN. The course covers:

  • Devices and services used to support communications in data networks and the Internet
  • The role of protocol layers in data networks
  • Addressing and naming schemes used at various layers of data networks in IPv4 and IPv6 environments
  • Designing, calculating, and applying IPv4 and IPv6 subnet masks and addresses
  • Ethernet concepts such as media, services, and operations
  • Building a simple Ethernet network using routers and switches
  • Using a command-line interface to perform basic router and switch configurations
  • Utilizing common network utilities to verify small network operations and analyze data traffic.

Engineering Management (15 Credits)
Learn howto administer and manage projects effectively in a specific discipline of engineering. The course covers:

  • Project management -scheduling techniques; critical path analysis; PERT charts; Gantt charts; and uncertainty and risk management
  • Contract law and documentation -schedules of quantities; costing and tendering; time cost/quality balance; contract types; and engineering company structures
  • Conditions of Contract (NZS3910) anddispute resolution
  • Professionalism and ethics
  • Consultation
  • Treaty of Waitangi
  • Sustainability and the Resource Management Act

Engineering Project (15 Credits)
Apply knowledge and problem-solving skills to plan and complete an engineering project relevant to the discipline strand studied (civil, mechanical or electrical) to accepted practice and standards from a given specification.

Power Systems 1 (15 Credits)
Learn aboutthree-phase power systems with an emphasis on generation, distribution and transmission systems.

PLC Programming 2 (15 Credits)
Developan advanced knowledge of PLC systems, applications, and programming methods.

Protection (15 Credits)
Learn aboutelectrical power system fault protection concepts for both MV and HV systems.

Sustainable Energy and Power Electronics (15 Credits)
Learn about the concepts and applications of power electronics including basic converter types and applications involving small scale renewable energy systems.

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Industry Connections

  • Max Tarr Electrical
  • Powerco
  • B&M Electrical
  • Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ)

 Domestic Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for this programme have been established by the New Zealand Board for Engineering Diplomas (NZBED). Candidates are required to have:

  • NCEA Level 2 and 
  • A minimum total of 48 Credits at Level 2 in four subjects, including at least 12 Credits in Mathematics (preferably achievement standards in Algebra, Calculus or Trigonometry), 
  • Or equivalent qualifications (e.g. International Baccalaureate or Cambridge), 
  • Or equivalent credits from appropriate trades training and/or demonstrated skills and experience.


For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international student applicants:

English Proficiency Entry Requirements
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS Academic score of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre.

Under 20 years of age
For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply.

 Advice & Guidance

Potential students who do not meet the minimum entry requirements should contact the Programme Leader to discuss other entry options. Students must supply their own equipment as specified in the Student Handbook.

Work experience
There are no work experience hours for this programme.

Recognition of prior learning
Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the Recognition of Prior Learning Form where a student believes all learning outcomes for a course have already been met. Applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the UCOL Academic Statute and other relavant policies and procedures.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email (not via the online application form).

 Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs for the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering:

  • Scientific calculator (not programmable) $30
  • Drawing equipment - compass set, folders, lecture pads, pens and pencils $60

Textbook for Engineering Fundamentals:

  • Val Ivanoff. Engineering Mechanics. McGraw Hill. - $124.00

Textbook for Engineering Mathematics:

  • J Bird. Engineering Maths. (7th Ed) Newnes. - $90.00

AS/NZs 3000:2007 approx $207

AS/NZS 3760:2010 approx $104.65


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) Trading as Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.